One Recipe That Makes Cinnamon Rolls, Doughnuts, and a Cinnamon Roll Cake

Margie's been an online writer for several years. Her articles focus on great Southern-style recipes for any occasion.

One recipe that makes all your cinnamon dreams come true!

One recipe that makes all your cinnamon dreams come true!

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

This easy dough recipe mixes and rises all in the same bowl! It was given to me by a good friend that used it at her bakery. It's truly one recipe that makes all your cinnamon dreams come true!

You can make cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, and a layered cinnamon roll cake with this dough. My family loves when I show up with a batch of these yummy cinnamon rolls. Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients for Homemade Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups water, warm
  • 1 cup milk, warm, about 30 seconds in microwave
  • 2 packages yeast, or 4 1/2 teaspoons
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-2 sticks of softened or melted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar, or more
  • Cinnamon

You Can Almost Smell the Cinnamon!


Instructions for Dough

  1. Dissolve the yeast in ½ cup of the warm water, let stand.
  2. In a large bowl, allowing for rising in the same bowl, mix the sugar, shortening, and salt. I use a fork to do this.
  3. Add the yeast mixture, warm milk and 1 cup of the rest of the warm water.
  4. Add just enough flour to make a dough stiff.
  5. Let rise until double with a kitchen towel covering. Punch down the dough.
  6. Place the dough on a floured surface, sprinkled the dough with a little flour, knead the flour in until smooth and not sticky.
  7. Roll the dough into an oval shape, about 1/2-inch thick; put butter, sugar, and cinnamon over the dough. I just sprinkle the cinnamon generously over the sugar and butter.
  8. Roll the dough starting with long side as tight as you can. Then slice it in about 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices.
  9. Place the slices in a pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover with a kitchen towel. Let it rise 30 minutes.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12-15 minutes, depends on your oven.
  11. You can also make doughnuts and a layered cinnamon roll cake with this recipe.

Cinnamon Roll Butter Cream Frosting Recipe


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon milk, or more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar


  1. Mix the sugar and butter together; add the other ingredients, spread on the rolls hot out of the oven.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe


  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to blend all the ingredients until smooth.
  2. I let the rolls cool before using the cream cheese frosting.
layered cinnamon roll cake in pans

layered cinnamon roll cake in pans

How to Make Layered Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake

  1. Make the cinnamon rolls as directed above.
  2. When ready to place, cut cinnamon rolls in the pan, use three different sized pans, more or fewer layers if you like! I used four round layered cake pan, but use what your imagination comes up with.
  3. I frosted the rolls hot in the pan, that was a challenge! I suggest you let them cool, place the first layer on a serving plate, then frost with the cream cheese or butter frosting recipes. Then the next layer is the same thing.
  4. I served this at my granddaughter’s high school graduation party! It is fun to try something new and delicious!

How to Make Homemade Doughnuts

  1. Start with step 6 in making cinnamon rolls.
  2. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough ½ inch thick.
  3. Cut with floured doughnut cutter.
  4. Let rise covered for 30 minutes.
  5. Place the oil in a deep-fryer, heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Carefully place the doughnuts into the hot oil.
  7. When the doughnuts rise to the surface, turn over.
  8. Fry the doughnuts for 1 minute on both sides until golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oil, drain.
  10. Dip into the creamy glaze, place on a wire rack to cool.

The doughnuts are best eaten the day they are made. I eat a couple of hot doughnuts just to make sure they are good!

Creamy Glaze for Doughnuts


  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1⁄3 cup butter
  • 4 -6 tablespoons hot water


  1. Microwave the butter for about 15-20 seconds, until melted.
  2. Mix in the vanilla extract and confectioners sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired thickness.

© 2016 Margie's Southern Kitchen

Please leave your comments about these yeast dough desserts!

Angelina on February 12, 2020:

Can you use instant/quick rise yeast for this recipe?

Liza from USA on January 19, 2020:

I just made delicious cinnamon rolls this weekend. Actually, I was very surprised with the result. I saw you have used shortening as one of the ingredients. I always curious of using shortening in the baking but, I guess it turned out really well for you. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

Margie's Southern Kitchen (author) from the USA on September 07, 2016:

Peachpurple this is so easy! The secret is not added too much flour, it will make them heavy instead of light and fluffy! If you have any questions let me know! Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day!

peachy from Home Sweet Home on September 06, 2016:

I have tried cinnamon bread and rolls but never make it right. Anyway, I will try your recipes, thanks

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